By using taxonomies for navigation you can define metadata that's exposed in the side panel in the user interface and allow users to drill down in the metadata they want to filter the archive contents by.
Open the Archive properties in the site configuration and go to the Metadata tab. In the Navigation pane section you can then enable Taxonomy navigation.
Use the checkboxes to choose the fields you want to expose for navigation in the archive.
All the fields for which taxonomies have been enabled are shown here, so it is possible to enable navigation for fields that are not necessarily in the archive's metadata set.